The opening of the Museum of Islamic Art in its new form and the inauguration of the Flag Square

Culture and art


The opening of the Museum of Islamic Art in its new form and the inauguration of the Flag Square

October 4, 2022, 9:58 p.m

Doha – Qena

Qatar Museums today inaugurated the Museum of Islamic Art in its new form, following a year-long rehabilitation project to improve facilities, reimagine and reinstall the galleries of its permanent collection, in addition to the inauguration of Flags Square.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by H

The ceremony was also attended by ambassadors, diplomats and cultural envoys representing all countries that are being celebrated within the framework of the Qatar-Middle East, North Africa and South Asia 2022 Year of Culture.

In a statement on this occasion, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, Chair of Qatar Museums Board of Trustees, said: “The Flag Square is a comprehensive symbol of the diverse community we welcome in Qatar, and of the deep ties that result from the interaction between cultures. Its significance is beautifully illustrated in Najla Al-Zain’s artwork. , which will be a lasting reminder of our global interdependence. I invite the people of Qatar and all who visit this country to benefit to move out of this new space, and let us gather here to celebrate our common humanity.”

Her Excellency added: “It is a matter of pride and pleasure to reopen the Museum of Islamic Art, inviting community members to explore the museum in its new look, as well as new visitors, including this large number of visitors to the To attend World Cup matches, to experience the exploration of the museum for the first time.”

Her Excellency emphasized that the opening of the Museum of Islamic Art, which continues to represent one of the most important experiences that express our heritage and culture, in 2008, represented a turning point for the State of Qatar, as it marked the rise of the country . as a new cultural destination in the world, and paved the way for the establishment of museums and other cultural institutions in the region.

She added, “We look forward to our institution’s next stop, which comes on the heels of the launch of the ‘Qatar Creates’ initiative, a wide range of cultural programs, showcasing the best cultural experiences Qatar has to offer. offer to help improve the lives of all its residents and visitors. Many people have come together to make today a reality, and I thank them for their support and enduring commitment to our culture and introduce history to members of our community.”

The inaugurated Flag Square is a new community destination launched by the Years of Culture Program, the international cultural exchange, deepening understanding between nations and peoples, which began after Qatar won the bid to host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Flags Square is located near the Museum of Islamic Art Park and serves as a new gathering place, and a site for festivals, celebrations and other events.

In her turn, Mrs. Aisha Ghanem Al-Attiyah, Director of Cultural Diplomacy at Qatar Museums, said: The Years of Culture initiative seeks to seize any opportunity to strengthen ties between people, adding: “We believe that culture is one of the most effective. tools to bring people together, encourage dialogue and deepen understanding between nations. Flag Square will be one such physical place to celebrate different cultures and bring people together to create new connections.”

For her part, Ms Sheikha Al-Nasr, deputy director for museum affairs at the Museum of Islamic Art, said in a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA) during the introductory tour of the galleries included in the renovation: “The museum in its new form facilitates the flow of visitors, serves the largest possible number of them, and offers a distinctive experience. “.

Al-Nasr said that a hall has been allocated for a three-dimensional visual presentation that narrates the journey of the establishment of the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar, and provides a history and documentation that allows visitors to explore the museum building within the context of the urban development observed by modern Doha.

She pointed out that the permanent galleries have been developed in a way that makes it possible to offer a new and comprehensive path for visitors, by providing extensive interpretive content that places the works of art within an understandable and purposeful context to understand the Islamic exploring heritage, while using various media to display the content, and creating a cultural environment suitable for families and attractive to children and parents.

Al-Nasr explained that the features of renewal and development include the establishment of completely new sections in the Museum of Islamic Art, noting that a hall has been allocated to the history of the Noble Qur’an and its impact on the Islamic civilization, accompanied by the recitation of verses from the wise Qur’an to one of the Qatari readers, in addition to the use of multiple media, and the exercise hall. Religious studies in Islamic society, and an explanation of the impact of these acts of worship, such as prayer, Hajj and Umrah, about the culture and art produced by Muslim peoples.

She also noted the importance of science, learning and education in the Islamic world, linking these subjects to the curricula, as well as introducing some regions of the Islamic world, which are usually underrepresented in Islamic art exhibition halls in the world, such as Islamic art in Southeast Asia.

She pointed out that the reopening of the Museum of Islamic Art at this particular time is to attract visitors and football fans during the hosting of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, as the museum store will display up to 70 percent of the collections that have not been before not displayed, the most important of which is a Page from the “Blue Qur’an” from Spain or North Africa, dating from the Umayyad Andalusian era, in the third century AH / ninth century AD, written in gold. ink, in addition to selling gifts and souvenirs related to this World Cup event.

During the media tour, Dr. Julia Gunilla, Director of the Museum of Islamic Art, said: “This massive project to improve the facilities will present a new story that will take visitors on a comprehensive journey through the Islamic world and will provide them. with a more in-depth experience, through which they learn about history The journey of the Islamic world, as told by our unique group.

For her part, the artist, Najla Al-Zein, said about her artwork: “We, She, and He” is an installation that focuses on human interaction and communication, and it consists of a series of sculptures in the form of benches, stretching over 313 meters of hand-carved limestone, all over Flag Square.

She added: This place expresses unity, and working in it – as a public place – has added an additional meaning to my art practice. The sculptures, which are actually intended to be used as benches, illustrate different modes of interaction such as acquaintances, friendships, love, intimacy, introversion, trust, fluidity and obstacles, and although each piece has its own individual character, they fit together as a group,” expressing the hope that her work will be an important part of this new public space, celebrating the commonalities and connections that exist between individuals of all ages and backgrounds.

The Armed Forces Music Brigade presented a musical performance during the opening ceremony, followed by the raising ceremony of 120 flags representing countries in diplomatic missions accredited to the State of Qatar, in addition to the flag of the European Union, the flag of the United Nations, and the flag of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

It is worth noting that the Museum of Islamic Art is an exceptional architectural achievement, designed by the world-renowned Chinese-American architect “IM Bay”, winner of the Pritzker Prize, and opened in 2008.

Located in a prominent location on an artificial island in the Corniche, specifically chosen by Bay, the museum is a beacon of Islamic arts, a platform for international dialogue and building bridges between the past and the present. present, and between East and West.

The new MIA galleries offer a comprehensive itinerary for visitors, with the development of extensive interpretive content that places the works in context, and the provision of a variety of new resources suitable for children, bringing the museum closer to families and young bring visitors.

The galleries will be organized according to historical and cultural themes, periods and geographical scales, revealing great traditions of Islamic craftsmanship.

The Museum of Islamic Art also presents a new section on Islam in Southeast Asia, which focuses on the relationship between different cultures through exhibits that deal with the trade of goods and the exchange of ideas across the Islamic world and beyond.

The improved experience facilitates the influx of visitors to serve the largest number of audiences, through a reconfigured entrance, cafes and retail spaces in a new form, all the improvements made to the building are in line with the vision of the designer ” IM Bay”.

During the reinstallation, the museum collaborated with the French interior design and architecture firm Wilmott & Partners, which IBM previously hired.

The museum displays Qatar’s international collection of Islamic art, which includes content dating back approximately 1,400 years.?

These contents vary between manuscripts, ceramic works, metal, glass, ivory, wood and precious stones, and these are possessions belonging to three continents, and include different countries from India to Spain to the countries of the Middle East, and the history of these possessions date back to the period extending from the seventh century AD to the twentieth century.

The Museum of Islamic Art’s exhibition program is characterized by its diversity and constant renewal, and the Museum also organizes extensive educational activities for children and families, making the Museum an important part of the community.?

The Museum of Islamic Art has gained wide popularity in the region and the world, attracting thousands of visitors every year.

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